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Student working on car part

Automotive Collision Technician

Why Choose the Automotive Collision Technician Program?

As long as cars will be on the road, we'll have a need for automotive collision technicians. This program teaches students how to identify, evaluate and diagnose collision damage and repair needs and gives them the skills to carry those repairs through to completion. Our Automotive Restoration & Customization - Finishing Certificate offers the training to restore an old classic to its former glory or take a stock vehicle and turn it into a wholly unique ride. Our 85,000 square-foot automotive facility features state-of-the-industry paint rooms, computer labs, classrooms and glassed-in shop areas, and our automotive programs have won numerous national awards. If you love cars and have an eye for taking something broken and doing the work needed to repair and restore it back to its original condition, this might be the program and career path for you.


Potential Careers

Collision Technician

Median annual pay in Wahington: 

$43,200 per year

Full Career Details

Refinishing Technician

Median annual pay in Washington:

$43,200 per year

Full Career Details

Autobody Technician

Median annual pay in Washington:

$46,450 per year

Full Career Details

Career Pathway


This is not a guarantee of employment or a certain wage. Full career data available at

Gainful Employment Data

Automotive Collision Technician Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Automotive Collision Technician Program, students will:

  • Work safely and responsibly within safety and environmental guideline standards for a shop.
  • Identify, care for and use hand and power tools.
  • Arrange welding equipment and select proper equipment for heating, cutting and MIG welding.
  • Identify types of plastic and select correct repair material for proper repair.
  • Identify types of glass, installation materials and install/adjust auto glass.
  • Shrink, stretch, and straighten metal. Mix and apply plastic filler.
  • Inspect, remove, install, align panels, doors and trim to meet industry standards.
  • Diagnose, twist, mash, sag and side sway. Set up and measure.
  • Evaluate collision damage and enter information into computer to achieve an accurate repair cost.
  • Select specific materials and prepare surfaces to be top coated.
  • Determine type of paint, apply topcoat and blend finishes.
  • Correct surface defects and final clean vehicles inside and out for delivery.
Automotive Restoration & Customization — Finishing Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Automotive Restoration & Customization – Finishing certificate, students will:

  • Work safely and responsibly within safety and environmental guideline standards, including OSHA and EPA.
  • Demonstrate proper use and care of hand and power tools.
  • Select proper equipment for heating, cutting, and welding. Demonstrate proper selection and use.
  • Describe and/or demonstrate setup and use of sheet metal forming equipment.
  • Demonstrate techniques of custom panel forming using metal, composites, and other materials.
  • Shrink, stretch, and straighten metal and mix and apply plastic filler for the purpose of restoring or customizing body panels.
  • Inspect, remove, install, and align panels, doors, and trim to meet restoration standards.
  • Diagnose condition of frame or chassis to determine suitability of modifications or road-worthiness.
  • Evaluate vehicle condition for restoration planning.
  • Evaluate vehicle surface and prepare for topcoat finishing.
  • Mix and adjust color, apply topcoat and/or custom finishes.
  • Correct finish defects and clean vehicles inside and out for delivery.

Meet Your Instructors

Greg Richards


Greg Richards

Greg graduated from the Clover Park Automotive Collision program in June 1976. From June 1976 to 1987 he worked in dealerships, starting as an apprentice in the industry and working in all capacities up to foreman/manager. He has held a Chevrolet Master Collision Repair Certification and is currently an ASE Master Certified in Collision Repair.

Bldg 3, Rm 304

Kurt Freeman

Kurt came to CPTC after 18 years of industry experience in both independent businesses and dealerships. He has performed all disciplines associated with the collision industry, specializing in structural repair, steering, suspension and alignment. He held lead and supervisory positions for several years. He's always enjoyed learning new techniques or technologies, which helped him in his career and continues to help him as an instructor.

Bldg 3, Rm 305


Automotive Collision Technician Program Information Sessions are hosted in Building 3, Room 307, at 3 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. For more information and a complete schedule of session dates, click here.




Student working on car part


New Scholarship Opportunity Announced for CPTC Automotive Students

From left to right: Schuyller Nagorski (RPM Scholar), Renee Crist (America's Car Museum Collections Manager), Ericka DeBoer (RPM Scholar) and Manfred Scharmach (BMW Northwest President and CEO) at the CPTC Foundation Scholarship Celebration Luncheon April 18, 2017. Image Credit: Lori Randall.

Clover Park Technical College automotive students will have access to a new scholarship for the 2017-18 academic year courtesy of the RPM Foundation and BMW Northwest.

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Automotive Student Finds Art in Restoration and Customization


Ericka DeBoer is working on customizing her Chevrolet Blazer, cutting off the back to turn it into a truck and changing the axle to make it more conducive to off-road driving.

Ericka DeBoer is an artist, and her canvas is a car. The Clover Park Technical College Automotive Restoration and Customization student knows some people will hear that and look at her funny, but it’s true.

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From Military Medic to Automotive Mechanic


Clover Park Technical College Automotive Technician student Schuyller Nagorski keeps a photo of him with his two daughters from his last day in his Unit in his toolbox (left); Nagorski will wrap up his two years at CPTC at the conclusion of winter quarter next month (right).

The past two years have provided quite the occupational and lifestyle shift for Schuyller Nagorski, who will finish the Clover Park Technical College Automotive Technician program at the conclusion of winter quarter.

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